Short excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel, particularly for Teddy's eyes (I really have kept it short), but others may enjoy if they wish...

Captain Bjorn Olafsson sat in the officers mess of the army base on the outskirts of Sasha, his surroundings much more cramped than they would normally have been, the officers mess here being the only fully equipped mess hall available on the base ever since the enlisted mess had been hit by one round during the wide ranging kinetic strike against military bases of the surface of Okami- right during the middle of serving breakfast to several hundred enlisted personnel.

The days that had passed since then had been frantic, but this had mostly been the result of treating the casualties that had resulted from the kinetic strike and attempting to reorganise the troops of the seventeenth armoured cavalry division into something approaching a fighting force around all the casualties and fatalities that had resulted from that attack, a process which they were nowhere near finished with, in fact parts of their division were as far as fifty percent understrength, including elements of their front line operating crew, which left entire tanks uncrewed as they consolidated the personnel they had to make as many tanks as they could fully combat capable.

He heard a noise from outside the officers' mess, the sound of heavy machinery on the move, but to the best of his knowledge, there were no heavy vehicles due to be moving on the base at this moment in time, especially since the commanders of every armoured vehicle that still had an assigned crew were here with him, taking refreshments in the aftermath of their most recent briefing on the situation, their senior noncommissioned officers joining them as other enlisted men filed through the serving counters that had been set up for them down one side of the mess hall. Unless there were vehicles newly arrived on base (and the briefing hadn't warned them of any) anyone who could have authorised heavy vehicle movements was there in the mess hall with him, which made him more curious about the sounds from outside and, picking up his plate from the table, he rose to his feet, as did many of the others in that officers' mess, curiosity getting the better of more than half of the room's occupants. Working his way through the crowd, he reached the doors of the mess, which opened to the outside air of the base- revealing to him a sight that left a bitter taste in his mouth as he took it in. They haven't done it, have they?

Sure enough, a number of mecha were in the process of parking themselves on the concrete roadway in front of the base's officer's mess, their paintwork now modified to carry the standard cavalry camouflage pattern for units assigned to the bases here on Prokofiev. They've finally snapped, Bjorn thought to himself, they've called in toys to fill in for the real armoured vehicles that we can't man, and it doesn't matter how damned ridiculous they look because this decision will have been made at the highest level, so fighting it directly is no use at all. I just hope they shoot you all down before even one of our proper armoured vehicles is hit by enemy fire.

A pitiful sight, aren't they Hippo, came a voice from behind Bjorn, a voice that he recognised well. Lieutenant Colonel Walters was one of the staff officers, but had been caught at the edge of the blast radius when the kinetic strike came in, and he was currently on the casualty list, having been flung across the base by the shockwave, one of his legs broken as it was dashed against the armour of a personnel carrier before he eventually came to rest against the concrete. Nobody quite knew why Lieutenant Colonel Walters had originally coined the nickname of Hippo to refer to Captain Olafsson, but the name had caught on like wildfire, with even the base commander using it as often as not.